Need URGENT help - Turkey

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Chriso

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I have never cooked a turkey before. My dad gave me a roasting pan and a ~14 lb turkey (Hy-vee, not farm fresh, so it's in plastic and has the little "timer" sticky thing) for christmas.

The problem is, he dropped it off on Saturday the 22nd. I've had it in the fridge this whole time, 15 days. I'm finally trying to deal with cooking it (cavity... ughhhhhh...) and saw on the packaging that you are supposed to cook within 3 days of thawing.

WTF.

So right now I've got it out of the fridge, my oven is preheating, it's sitting in the (clean) sink and i've cut open, but not removed, the plastic. Should I even bother cooking it? Is it bad already? Who has stored their turkey for extended periods of time?

I am so not cut out for this crap. I like my meats cooked for me. Trying to look at, much less trying to prepare raw poultry is for sadists. I'll stick to ground beef and steaks next time.
 

Yooper

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Hate to tell you this, but turkey is like chicken and spoils quickly. But if it was frozen when you put it in the fridge maybe, just maybe, it took a long time to thaw and it's ok.

Open the package and look at it and smell it. If it smells even the slightest bit "wrong', pitch it. Even so, I'd probably pitch it anyway. If it seems ok, rinse well with cold water inside and out before cooking it.
 
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I'm leaning in the "don't even bother" direction. Unwrap it, first, and see how it smells. I mean get in there and really take a good whiff. If it smells bad, sour, stale, or rotten, pitch it. If it smells clean and fresh, you might be ok to cook it.

EDIT: Damn, Yooper beat me this time.
 
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Chriso

Chriso

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Chicken spoils quickly?! What else haven't these people been telling me!!

God, my generation is in for a wild ride. We really need "Adulthood for Dummies" or something.

And we're the generation who still faintly remembers vinyl albums! Can you imagine the NEXT next generation? They'll expect that they can bluetooth their oven to have it prep the food for them!

Done and done. This one is a learning experience I guess. Time to go find something else to cook for dinner.
 

Brakeman_Brewing

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Thats the biggest problem with raw poultry it gets bad quick, better safe than sorry I agree with everyone else.

Too bad it wasnt a nice cut of steak, that 15 days could have probably made it better!
 
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Chriso

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Too bad it wasn't a nice cut of steak, I'd know how to cook the damn thing! :D

Yeah, I think I'm going to stick to beef cuts and the occasional frozen boneless skinless chicken breast. This whole on-the-bone thing is for the birds.

Now to clean the mess on the counter - where'd my StarSan go?
 

joejaz

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Don't even take the plastic off that thing. If it went bad that turkey juice (blood) will get all over and stink up everything. And they probably got the gizzards packed inside it.
 

rabidgerbil

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If I might offer a small but very useful piece of advice, find yourself a television cook that you enjoy watching. Alton Brown is one of the best in my mind, as he teaches you how and why to do things, not just how to make a specific recipe. He teaches you the science behind cooking. Watch and learn. Watch as often as you can, learn as much as you can, and practice. It is just like brewing, you follow some basic rules, you put the ingredients together, and you enjoy the fruits of your labors. I have been cooking since I was a kid, and I still screw something up once in a while, but that is how you continue to learn.
 
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Chriso

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I can cook oddball things, like lasagna's and meatloaf's and casseroles.... And I can do burgers and steaks and grilled chicken.... So I'm not entirely SOL.

I just don't work well with the whole "bulk meat, you cook it then cut it" thing. That is my downfall.

I should find a use for this roasting pan though. Corned beef? Ham? (SWMBO won't eat ham, so it'll be all for me :( ) Heh. Roasting pecans for my 80/-. That's what roasting pans are good for.
 

elkdog

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+1 on Alton Brown. I'm 27 and can cook pretty much any meat I come across- I got into it all through Alton Brown.

Poultry on the bone is worth it, imo, because it's a whole lot easier to get a juicy, flavorful product. You can also get a whole chicken really cheap and feed yourself for a few days with it.
 
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chriso said:
God, my generation is in for a wild ride. We really need "Adulthood for Dummies" or something.
You said a mouthful there! They really need to bring fundamental life skills back to our schools. Some good places to start would be cooking fundamentals, basic automotive skills (I'm amazed how many people have NO IDEA how to change a tire!) and how to file a simple tax return.

I agree with the Alton Brown suggestion. He really demystifies cooking, and makes it very entertaining as well.
 

Orfy

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I took cooking classes at school. It gave me a foundation. Plus my Grandma and Mum bother made real food.

I think the last 20 year has seen too many ready meals and Corporations making prfit from food.
 

eriktlupus

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next time you try a turkey just empty the cavity,gizzards,neck etc. put the bird in the pan on some whole carrots(peeled). add one beer of choice(i like either boston lager or a balanced apa) cover with foil or pan lid set oven for 325 and roast for about 1/2hr/pound. with 30-45 min left uncover and baste with juices in pan, leave uncovered and finish till internal temp is 160-170. carve and enjoy
 
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Chriso

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BlindLemonLars said:
...and how to file a simple tax return.
Case in point: SWMBO had never filed one before we got engaged.

I've been thinking I should take a class at the local community college. I'll definitely give Alton Brown a shot too. I've never watched his show due to not watching TV often enough, but it sounds good.

Orfy, guess what my mom mostly cooks? Lasagna, meatloaf, casseroles, boneless skinless chicken breast....... sounds like my list :D

GOD there's that cavity word again! Ew!

Thanks again for helping my dumb a$$ through this.
 

Melana

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Maybe start with a chicken first? Roasting is fairly easy to do and can yield tasty results. My husband was not cracked up about whole bone-in chicken until i started cooking for him... Come to think of it there were a lot of things that he refused to eat before he met me.
Has your SWMBO tried smoked shoulder? My husband hates ham but loves smoked shoulder!
There are a lot of evening classes at our local Vocational High School that cover a few dozen cooking related topics. I took a bread class (it was a little basic for me) and had a wonderful time!
 
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